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'8 ♪ ♪ ♪ >> cheryl: welcome to "beyond the headlines," i'm cheryl jennings. we're exploring gun violence. discuss ways you can talk to your children no matter what age about the painful realities about the violence. about six weeks ago 20 children and six adults were fatally shot
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at a small elementary school. sandy hook shooting was one of the worst shootings in history. our reporter filed this report. >> worried. >> it's the community that is still anxious as their children return to school in newtown, connecticut. classes were back in session except sachbd did i hook elementary where 20 children and six staff members were murdered on. >> a lot of people don't want to be here. >> to send our children to school, we wanted to see them back. we want them to come back home. we want to hold them and hold them and hug them at the end of the day. >> meantime, a welcome sign hangs across the street from the shuttered middle school that is being transformed for students. >> i hope they are able to cope
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with it. i don't know if they already ready to go back to school anytime soon. >> for adults, mass shootings are terrifying. but what about our children? when our kids ask us for answers, what do we tell them? it's a difficult conversation, but children younger than age 7, they don't need to know about it. but 7-12 years old they need to know they are safe and express the right emotions, such as sadness and concern and empathy. it is okay to be worried. for children over 12, engage them and ask them why this happened and what they think is how to progressive it. joining us in the studio is dr. cholas madoni, the dean at psychology at santa clara university. thank you so much for being
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here. we heard remarks, it can be tough to shield kids from this and they are going to be hearing about it at school. >> i think he is right looking at kids at different ages. i think i like to talk to people about, i use the letters of the words clear to speak about violent acts. "c" is for calming yourself. any time you hear somhing like ts happening in the news, as adults we begin to panic and feel those feelings of fear and anxiety. we want to make sure we don't expression it with our kids. we want to calm ourself. second letter is "l" and that listening. ian't stress enough to listen to your children in what they are experiencing and not trying to break in too soon.
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we have a natural inclination to helpthem feel better. we do need to have time to express themselves. third letter is the "e" for empathize. you want to look for these reactions, it could be anger, frustration, or it could be no reaction. sometimes these reactions are delayed. for some kids, reactions are more behavioral rather than emotional. give them time to express those feelings. fourth letter is "a" for avoid. avoid too much exposure. no matter what age group we have to be careful of all the media images we look at around these acts. >> turn off the tv and talk about other things? >> right. it makes sense because there is
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a draw, but you get too much of that you get overexposure. the final thing is recognize these events are rare. that is what the "r" is for. they are very unlikely to happen. we need to keep a perspective so we don't overhype that it is likely to happen to us or others. >> cheryl: how about the conversation between parents, if a parent is is a gun owner? >> its tricky conversation. i would probably distinguish between gun owners that are responsible to gun owners that are not. i would start by saying anybody that is a gun owner is send ago message to children at some level violence is okay. that violence in the act of killing is okay whether somebody else or an animal. that message itself does create a challenge in the home. kids can understand that message differently depending on their
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age. young kids are going to har that in self defense that gun is okay to use. does that mean when i'm being blood a lot in school, is it appropriate? we have to be careful with those kids. a lot of gun safety is important in the home in terms of how the gun is locked up or how the gun is used or how the gun is talked about in the home. >> we have about 30 seconds left. in a child is exposed to gun violence, what with week do to keep them from being further traumatized? >> avoid too much reaction, get used for yourself before you start engaging with them in terms of a conversation. >> cheryl: great advice. we do have to take a break, but when we come back we'll hear from a local mother who lost two sons at the same time to gun
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>> cheryl: welcome back. we have been talking about the dangers of gun violence and best way to talk about it with your family. joining me in the studio has experienced this pain first half. she lost two her sons to gunfire and she has taken this devastating loss and made a nonprofit organization called one thousand mothers to prevent violence. she now has other family here but the anniversary is coming up. i know this is hard for you. i just wanted to take you back because i know the loss never goes away. >> no, i wish i could say that. 13 years on february 8th i would be okay. i can't say that at this point.
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>> cheryl: you have taken the pain and you channeled it in a positive direction. >> yes. it was about in 2008, you need to get up and live and go out and see the other mothers. that is what we do in one thousand mothers. we help them, hicide sri78s. one i ourupport group where we meet in oakland, east pa alto and we have morning mother's day walk that you know about where it happens to be the birth date of our twin sons who were murdered in oakland. we're going to be walking three miles. >> cheryl: we have pictures of your children when they were much younger. just basically what happened? >> greg called me and he said, mom i want you to stop what he
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are doing. i found out that day that the two had been murdered by a guy with an assault rifle in the still of oakland while they were working on a car. >> cheryl: just a drive-by and what about the killer? >> this guy is in jail on kidnapping and robbery charges. they have never solved the case and according to police it's a lack of resources. >> cheryl: hopefully one day that case will be solved. you have one remaining son, gregory? >> yes. he is talking about wearing a bulletproof vest. i sent him out of oakland after losing the boys because i wanted to save his life. he wants to come back home. i wanted him to come back home but i get nervous. >> cheryl: that is sad to say because there is many good places in oakland. what advice do you have? >> listen to your children. it's like you are on the
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airplane and they will say in case of drop in pressure to put on your mask. parents have to take care of themselves first because many are hurt and in denial. make sure you are listening to railroad children. if you see signs of isolation or depression, don't ignore that. most other mass murders through children with mental disabilities. i have a mental illness but i'm not going to try and kill anybody. also push for gun laws and try to encourage the nra and close the loopholes and hold on to your second amendment rights. get rid of the guns, we don't need them. >> cheryl: we'll talk more about the march coming up on? >> we one thousand mothers that can be reached through our website. you can call us at any time and
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you don't want to miss the march that will be hosted b cheryl jennings at san leandro marina park. you will have a great time. we're going to have music and entertain am and last year, are you going to that again for us. [ laughter ] >> cheryl: all right. thank you for being here. i look forward about letting people about the march coming up. we do have to take a break. we're going to learn about the importance of gun safety and how to be a responsible gun owner. stay with us. we'll be right back. copd makes it hard to breathe...
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ask your doctor if including advair could help improve your lung function. [ male announcer ] advair diskus fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder. get your first prescription free and save on refills at >> cheryl: welcome back. i'm cheryl jennings. we're continuing our discussion how to talk to children about gun violence. ever since the december shooting at sandy hook elementary school, local area governments are reducing the gun violence in on you are communities. one of these have been local gun buy-back problems. one turned out to be very successful than organizers ever imagined. >> at st. andrew's church in marin city, they didn't have any idea how many people would show up but they had an assault rifle
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and ak-47. >> i brought in an ak. i bought it in the clinton era on principle but that was like 20 years ago. i have had a change in philosophy. >> reporter: tony knew that his ak-47 was illegal in california. >> what do you think about the assault weapons ban that is now being proposed? >> i'm all for it. >> he told me the shootings in colorado and connecticut helped him change his mind. more assault weapons were turned in for cash. >> any weapons we do take in, there is -- a gun that is stolen that is not used in a crime next month or next year or against a police officer. any weapons we get we're happy to take. >> they took in so many weapons at $200 apiece theyran out of money after a few hours.
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county district attorney had raised $43,000 for this gun buy-back. it is gone and they are handing out vouchers. >> those vouchers we will attempt to do additional fund-raising over the next 30 days. if we can raise the funds, we will through the public media get that information out and people can come in with their vouchers. we will honor those vouchers. >> cheryl: joining me right now, from the san francisco police officers association. the recent shootings are just horrifying to so many of us and i know you, as well. it's your business to protect people. what are your thoughts? >> i think sandy hook was more powerful effect because of the children and the young children. i've been a cop for 35 years. i've seen the devastation that weapons cause, that guns cause. i've seen children die.
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people don't understand, one when one life is taken, it affects hundreds of other lives for the rest of their lives. gun violence is reaching epidemic proportions in this country. the combination of mental health issues and people with mental health issues getting their hands on weapons, it's an epidemic. >> there is a lot of talk. we saw what was going on in marin county and some counties have gun buy-back problems and discussions about assault weapons, is that going to make a difference? >> any time we can get a gun off the street, it's one less gun to do potential violence. if the country wants to get serious about this, i think it's a big piece but the nra has to come to the table and be more logical and realistic about some of these weapons that do not belong in the hands of civilians. i've said before, you don't need 50 bullets to kill a deer.
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the nra needs to be part of the solution as well. >> cheryl: you have something in that box? >> actually my gun is in my hollister. it's an important message to children. obviously important message in the home. you do not want guns within access of anybody, not only your children but kids that come to the home. when i go home tonight. i carry this nine millimeter semi-automatic. i have a box in my closet. i take my gun out. no bulles in the gu i take the cli out of t gun. i put the crip in there. i take the bullet out of the chamber. i take the gun and put it in the box. i lock the box and it's not accessible. this is a big part of what i've taught my children and what i continued to preach at home.
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a lot of people will say, my god you don't have access if a burglar comes in. i will take my chances. i would rather do that than make this accessible to children in the home. >> cheryl: you have a couple sons. you talked about this from the day they could understand? >> i took them shooting. i took them to ranges to shoot the weapon. but my family are not hunters. we like to think of ourselves as compassionate people. to me a gun is something i wear at work. when i go home, it's in the box and i don't have need for it there unless it would be an emergency situation. >> cheryl: for parents that have guns, what is your visi right now? >> always make sure that it is unaded. teach your children never to point a gun at anybody. one accident can create
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devastating effects and ruin everybody's lives. >> cheryl: thank you so much for being here. >> my pleasure, it's great to be here. >> cheryl: we do have to take a break. don't go away. we're going to hear from a local high school steps it is taking to do safety measures. we'll be right back. on your prepaid card?
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>> i want to start with you and explain to folks, what is alternative in action? >> we are a nonprofit that works with youth preparing them for college career and community. we partner with schools to do that work. >> cheryl: and it's because of tragedy in community? >> last year, we suffered the loss of three young people due to gun violence. it's a close knit carrying community and high achieving school. what we saw, we were in pain. young people really were in a place of hopelessness. we knew that we needed to support youth and the relationship to gun violence.
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>> cheryl: how does this work, what does it do. >> the season of peace and it was a campaign to show that we want a normal life. we know we can't stop violence, but we can to go peace. we did that for 47 days. it was a daily fasting. we reflecting on why are we fasting. it was the whole idea of fasting for peace. then we create a book and about our losses and how it affected us. it's the whole community that contributes to it. >> cheryl: great project. you were in the ninth grade. so why did you want to get
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involved in something. >> i came from vietnam and it was like one war zone to another. it was a meaningless term. i know through that -- i'm not going to sit here and just grieve. making peace here over and over again. >> cheryl: this is very complicated to me. the goal is so simple. it's to stop the violence and to create peace. the other thing when you have kids that are in pain, how do you talk to them about that? >> i think the first thing we're able to provide spaces. it is important to provide spaces where young people feel safe, be real and hones about
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what they are experiencing. for us, i think our approach has been to support them, to channel those feelings into doing positive action. i can't tell you how many times i've seen after a loss of a young person that youth don't know what to do with their feelings. it's important for us to support them to be able to move into something positive. >> cheryl: what kind of changes have i seen? >> i have seen them being more optimistic and peace can be made. the fact, yes, we can do it again, but this time we can make it where we talk to citywide officials and work together and get something done. last time, -- now it needs to get done. >> we are partnering right now
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with oakland unified school district to take it to more high schools. we are trying to get this wonderful book out as widely as possible. youth are committed to setting up a scholarship to support seniors who have been engaged in peace building efforts. we are doing that in partnership with foundation and the energy is bigger than th year than even last year. >> final thoughts? >> we just want people tonow they can support us by going to our website. you can go to facebook and buy the book. >> cheryl: thank you both for what you are doing. that is all the time we have today. a special thanks to all of our guests. most information go to our website at we are also on facebook and twitter. i'm cheryl jenngs.
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